erpes Nation Newsletter Volume One, Edition One
If this is your first e-newsletter, welcome home to the Herpes Nation, a virtual environment that accepts all and refuses no one. I started this newsletter to provide empowerment and encouragement to those of us with “the gift”. If you have been receiving my updates for awhile, you already know that the Herpes Nation is an enlightened place of responsible sexuality, self acceptance, and healing. Welcome home – to a healthy community where majority rules apply.
Barack Obama has been talking lately about the forces in society that divide us. We live in a society where some groups work overtime to keep people afraid of sex for their own political gains. One way they keep us divided is by setting the STD-free against the majority of the population with STDs. Just because a few mean-spirited and ignorant people wish to continue the stigma doesn’t mean we have to buy into it.
90% of the shame of herpes is imagined and only 10% real – I guarantee it.
What we fear and imagine is almost always worse than reality, and fortunately many individuals are waking up to embrace truth rather than fear. Those of you who are newly diagnosed will likely be angry, ashamed, stunned, numb, and scared, but remember this; most people are reasonable, open and supportive if you give them a chance to be. And if you run into some of the destroyers out there, that’s okay too, it’s all part of life. When clarity and distance comes there’s an opportunity to make peace with herpes and see the opportunities and challenges it creates.
We can’t control what others say or do, but we can control ourselves. We can be honest, upfront and unashamed. There is no more reason to be ashamed of having herpes than of having acne or arthritis. There is no excuse for not disclosing your herpes status before you have any kind of intimate contact with anyone. There is a lot to life, and having herpes is only a tiny part of it – unless you choose to blow it up way beyond what it actually is.
Please join me and the people already contributing to this newsletter by sharing your stories and articles. If you paint or draw or make art of any kind, express your feelings about herpes through your art and send it to us to share with the Herpes Nation. If you are a musician send us your herpes songs. Send your recipes. Empower yourself to sign your work, or use a pseudonym to protect your privacy. Either way, don’t be shy! We want to hear your voice.
Regards and love,
Holistic Viral Specialist
Moving Away from a Dependence
on Substance-based Medicine
by Christopher Scipio
One of the few things upon which Natural healers and scientists agree is that the universe is energetic rather than material-based. Yet both allopathic and much of natural medicine still place a heavy emphasis on healing through taking substances.
Taking substances can be a powerful component of a healing plan. In the case of Natural medicine the remedies can re-connect us with the natural world and allow us to harness the billions of years of experience of the plant master chemists. But I caution you not to focus too much on substances when you have so much healing power within you.
Love is the ultimate engine of healing. Love is unlimited, inexhaustible, transcendent, illuminating, liberating.
Liberation is key. Often our chronic illnesses are a result of our failure to break free of negative patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Love can change anything. Love can set you free.
Without an abundance of love, healing will never be complete.
If and when you take a substance to aide your healing, spend at least five minutes focusing and directing your mind/spirit on what you want the medicine to do for your healing. Feel the medicine’s effect on your body, and pay close attention to how your body reacts. If you cannot do this at first keep trying until you can.
You have the power to become a healing alchemist. You can transform the substances you take into your body into the healing instrument that you need. You can limit the negative side effects of prescription drugs with your personal power. You can make natural medicines more effective.
You can even turn water into wine. So unlimited is your potential.
What It Feels Like For a Girl
by Nancy Olson, member of the Herpes Nation since 1995
I know that every individual experience of herpes is different. I know that it is an emotion-driven infection, and that we each bring our own baggage to the news that we have contracted an incurable socially stigmatized disease. I am beginning to think however that because most women experience herpes from a largely shame-based self-image, picking up herpes along the road to dharma can be yet another oppressive and hysterical experience of mainstream femininity. If we let it be.
I’ve talked to enough women about herpes to know that the virus doesn’t play favorites – no one is exempt. Having herpes isn’t unusual – God hasn’t singled anyone out for punishment. When a woman gets herpes, she is simply dealing with the reality of life in the 20th century. We are all hosts for a variety of microorganisms some of which cause minor sexually transmitted diseases, like herpes. Between herpes, HPV and Chlamydia there’s probably no one you know who has had more than six sexual partners who hasn’t caught a sexually transmitted disease. It continues to astound me however, how differently the disease can affect men and women, on both physical and personal levels.
Let’s start with my friend Sally. A brilliant, creative and self-assured woman, when she learned she had gotten herpes from a recent ex she fell to pieces. She became quite literally hysterical. I stuck with her through a variety of humiliating visits to clinics and doctors’ offices and comforted her as she suffered the slings and arrows she suffered, mostly slung at herself. She had survived a complicated childhood and an unhappy marriage, only to have her blossoming sexuality nipped in the bud – she thought – buy an incurable STD. To top it all off, she was in a new relationship that was looking like it might last more than a month or two. I think what she dreaded most was being stereotyped by the new guy when he discovered he might have gotten more (or less) than he had bargained for. Dealing with her first herpes outbreak nearly pushed her over the edge.
At just about the same time, I noticed that the man I had just started seeing had developed some nasty sore spots on his penis, and he seemed uncomfortable with having as much sex as we had been lately. Since I had been learning about herpes with Sally, I knew right away what was going on. We talked about it, and he seemed genuinely surprised. He acted angry, and seemed truly pissed off, but he seemed to roll with it. He didn’t personalize the situation or blame anyone, or ask himself what he had done to deserve it. He shrugged it off instead with a characteristic sense of entitlement, recognizing it only as a minor setback. Either that, or it wasn’t a new situation for him. I know now that men and women both can be decimated by the news, so I have to wonder if it was news to him at all.
My first outbreak waited a couple of years, so that by the time I went to my doctor to see what was going on with some unfamiliar discomfort “down there” I had even forgotten about herpes as a possibility. I was annoyed, but because I was a few years into a stable relationship I decided to let go of the idea of herpes as a problem. It kept me off my bike seat from time to time, but I figured I was safe from having to deal with social ostracism or the rejection by a lover that might follow “outing” myself. Sally’s worries were not mine – or so I thought.
Then my partner and I broke up. After 10 years together, I found myself alone, dealing with an almost unbearable level of grief at the same time as I wondered how having herpes was going to affect the rest of my life. I was thrown completely off balance and out of touch with who I was, and for the first time I was plagued by one painful outbreak after another. I went looking for help from the only source I had, but the last time I saw my ex, he was pushing a full vial of Valtrex at me through the half-closed door of our condo. I was left standing outside in the hall feeling rejected, worthless, unloved, and ashamed.
Having the herpes virus didn’t cause this situation, but it sure didn’t help. Like most women, I had spent my entire life and enormous amounts of time and effort loving others without ever paying myself the same attention. Being raised a woman in North American society I had been socialized to believe that my needs would never come first, and that at my core I was unclean and unworthy of real love. I might have two university degrees, but all it took was losing a lover to remind me that I was incapable, unlovable and undesirable. And waking up single with an incurable sexually transmitted disease, I was certain I would never be loved again.
I don’t think my experience is unique. The fragile female psyche, whether due to socialization or dysfunctional parenting – sometimes both – will immediately personalize a herpes infection. The medical community tells us that women are more susceptible to herpes infections because our genital area has a greater surface area with more mucosal cells than men, or that hormonal changes interfere with local immune responses. This may be true, but I further believe that female susceptibility to and experience of herpes symptoms has just as much to do with learned beliefs about femininity and female sexuality. Female physiology makes it easy to convince little girls that what can’t be seen should be left alone because no good will ever come of it, and the patriarchy in which we live has wasted no time in labeling the sexuality of independent women as dangerous. (Faithful wives and mothers receive different treatment – but that’s another story.) So when you believe at your core that you are fundamentally ugly, dirty, and undesirable, it is easy to blame yourself for your disease.
Across the centuries diverse societies have demonized female sexuality in order to control it, positioning women not only as a source of life, but also of death due to the dissemination of morally reprehensible desire and disease. Female sexual pleasure has been denied and repressed both socially and physically, with female genital mutilation an example of an extreme measure of control and domination.
So if herpes is emotion-driven, then why wouldn’t women suffer differently? We have been taught that we deserve to. At least that’s how I felt standing in that lonely hallway, the bottle of pills in my hand very cold comfort indeed.
I have since learned that it doesn’t have to be this way. Because for me this most recent assault was only the latest in a string of many, I was finally forced into therapy, and the counselor I worked with used a diverse range of tools to help me discover and dislodge my beliefs of personal worthlessness. I have always been good at maintaining a strong positive network of friends, and I leaned on them mightily. And as part of my healing process I began to meditate, exercise, and practice yoga. I visited reiki masters, and trained to become one myself. I went on a wilderness retreat, and spent days alone in the mountains with little food or shelter and only a candle and a journal for warmth and reflection.
As I came to understand and make peace with myself, I made peace with herpes – one cannot happen without the other. Life got better and better. A year passed, and I noticed that the outbreaks had slowed considerably. The more I made peace with my past and learned to love and forgive myself and others the less often the virus came to remind me to pay attention. I am now considerably more self-aware and consistently happy and healthy than before becoming a host. Doing my personal work has taught me not just to I love myself, but that I AM love, which is always greater than herpes. I am not just in touch with the goddess – she is me.
It’s almost three years now since this journey started, and aside from a few tingles during a particularly difficult period at work, I have been outbreak free. Interestingly enough, I have never felt freer to explore my sexuality and female power with friends and lovers. I have found ways to protect us from the spread of STDs, and have loved only those who care enough about me to take the risk – a truly liberating and self-affirming situation.
Now in an ideal world, the outcome of this process would transcend day-to-day identity politics, and shared experience would count for more than perceived difference. But we still live in a world where markings of gender, class and race determine the shape of our lives. Women continue to contract herpes more often than men, and to suffer more severe symptoms. I only know that as a woman, forgiveness and self-inventory has done far more for me than that bottle of Valtrex ever did.
I am in touch my true nature enough now to understand that herbal and naturopathic remedies are the only healthy alternative to the chemical treatment of disease and discomfort. Holistic health is an ongoing process that requires a commitment to and responsibility for one’s own health, a source of wisdom and healing like Christopher Scipio’s Holistic Herpes Protocol, and membership in an enlightened collective that understands that we are ALL living in a Herpes Nation. If happiness is defined as an absence of negative energy, then making peace with herpes can be a way for any one of us to be happy and whole for the first time. Happiness will cease to be an emotion that can be undermined by negative experience and societal judgments – it will become a self-defined way of being. Because making peace with anything leaves little room for negativity, having herpes can be a path to fulfillment if you let it be. Come home to the Herpes Nation where happiness is not an emotion. It’s a state of mind.
In Conversation with a Hypnotherapist
Several months ago I commissioned hypnotherapist Karen Miller to create a self-hypnosis programme based on my herpes and HPV protocols and my book Making Peace with Herpes, to be used in conjunction with my book and remedies.
Recently my associate Nancy Olson sat down with Karen to talk about how the programme, available now as a CD set along with my book “Making Peace With Herpes”, works to alleviate physical and psychological symptoms of having herpes.
Nancy: Let me start Karen by telling you what a great help your CD’s have been to me. They are a great way to relax after a stressful day, and I have been using the second set of exercises to supplement my own personal healing work. So to get started tell me what made you decide to pursue hypnotherapy as a healing modality?
Karen: 16 years ago I was pregnant and looking at self-hypnosis as a way to prepare myself for the birth. I was so pleased and intrigued by that experience that I became interested in learning more and then in sharing what I found. Initially I began presenting to groups however in 2005 I shifted my focus to one-on-one sessions and special programs – like this CD set.
Nancy: Tell me about your work as a hypnotherapist today.
Karen: I’m based in Nanaimo and work primarily with individual clients in one-on-one hypnotherapy sessions. My clients come because of a variety of issues, from herpes, chronic pain, to addictions, phobias, or personal growth.
Nancy: What makes hypnotherapy such an effective therapeutic tool in treating men and women with herpes?
Karen: That’s a really involved question! The role our mind plays in our healing is
only just beginning to be examined, never mind understood. Some terrifically
interesting findings are coming out of our relatively new brain-imaging
technology. And the studies that have been conducted on hypnosis are
fascinating but really only scratch the surface…
The simple answer is that herpes is not just a physical disease. It is a deeply
emotional experience. And so it makes sense for many that hypnosis (which
impacts the physical and the emotional, the mundane habitual responses as well
as memories and beliefs) would be such an effective tool.
Nancy: How does hypnotherapy do that? How is it different from meditation say, or guided visualization?
Karen: Well, there is certainly some overlap there. There is a focused state of awareness that is often common to all three. Meditation is an opening – often involves a sort of persistent passivity, if you will- an intent to be present. With guided visualization, imagery is used to direct the experience in a specific direction. With hypnosis, the mind is open to suggestions. And with hypnotherapy, that openness is used to benefit the person in hypnosis. Hypnotherapy may, but does not have to, use guided imagery. The
key is that the part of the mind that would normally block suggestions for
change is circumvented.
Nancy: How does this technique support the recommended psychological and lifestyle changes outlined in the book?
Karen: In this case, many of the suggestions for change I just mention are elements of Christopher Scipio’s recommendations in Making Peace With Herpes. So, at the most basic level, listening to the CDs will help you integrate the lifestyle changes, for example, making the best food choices, more easily. And the CD program will help you relax and alleviate stress. And doing even only that has such a positive physical effect. But perhaps the most profound effects will come from the emotional growth the program encourages. By providing opportunities for the listener to release old wounds and rewrite their internalized truths, I hope to offer peace and real healing.
Nancy: Can you describe for me the process you and Christopher followed in creating the hypnotherapy CD set he offers as a companion to his book “Making Peace With Herpes”?
Karen: When Christopher and I first met we had an interesting discussion and found significant common ground in our understanding of the nature of health and healing. After I read his book we spoke further about our shared belief that
hypnosis could really be an elegant support to his readers and clients. So, at
his invitation, I set about combining the techniques my clients have found
helpful with the content of Making Peace With Herpes. I’m really pleased with
the resulting synergy.
Nancy: The CD set has a number of tracks meant to enhance the listener’s ability to relax. Why is that so important?
Karen: Scientific studies, like work done by Kemeny, Zegans and Cohen at the New York Academy of Science (1997), have shown that long-term stress is a strong factor for recurrent herpes outbreaks. And to look at the picture even more broadly, I would point out that the negative effect of chronic stress on the immune system in general is well documented by studies with titles like The relationship of depression and stressors to immunological assays: a meta-analytic review. Brain Behavior and Immunity (Zorrilla, Luborsky, McKay, Rosenthal, Houldin, McCorkle, Seligman & Schmidt, 2001).
Relaxation and specifically relaxation through repeated hypnosis supports the immune system and decreases recurrence of herpes outbreaks. So, it is my intent to provide listeners with an opportunity to change their immune system chemistry and decrease outbreaks by doing something that feels great. It’s an absolute win.
Nancy: Tell me more about the second set of tracks. What are they meant to do, and how do they accomplish it?
Karen: The second set of tracks is really about the roots of the emotional issues that may be tied in to a listener’s experience of herpes. So they provide opportunities to clear negative feelings and to take the power out of past events and to put it back in the listener’s hands, where it belongs.
Nancy: What changes can listeners expect, in an immediate, short-term and long-term basis?
Karen: Everyone’s path will be different. You might begin by working through and clearing your emotions, or with shifting your physical symptoms, with feeling more in touch with your wise innermost self, or with changing your lifestyle so
as to be in line with Christopher’s protocols. Your changes may be gradual. Or
you may be one of those who experience dramatic relief or release and then
plateau before the next big surge. Some people feel like nothing much is
happening, but they keep at it and just let it be part of their routine. Then
one day they wake up and realize they’ve been symptom-free and peaceful for
months ‘for no reason’.
Nancy: What would you recommend to listeners who feel hypnotherapy isn’t working for them?
Karen: To begin with of course, there are so many healing modalities, and it’s
important to recognize that some people may simply be more comfortable making peace and healing through another method. Realizing that you have choices is very freeing. Having said that, I should also say that it’s been my
experience that everyone who can learn to read can also learn to go into hypnosis and to experience it’s benefits.
So what’s going on when ‘it’s not working’? Well, trust plays a fundamental role in hypnosis. And ultimately, I don’t mean trust in me, or in Christopher, or in the program, but rather trust in one’s self. Certainly that can be challenging, and the issues that herpes stirs up can exacerbate the challenge. Sometimes the most helpful thing is to call or e-mail me ([email protected] or 250-741-1461) and we can pinpoint where the resistance is coming from and decide how to best circumvent it. And for people who would like the support of a one-on-one session with me to get past a block or to learn how to really deepen their trance that’s possible too. For many clients, however, discovering that everything that they do with this program is completely under their control and that this experience can be as gentle as they’d like makes all the difference. Once they truly find their way into that understanding, it’s amazing how quickly things proceed!
Nancy: You raise some really good points about things I have experienced myself. For example, one or two of the second set of tracks stirred up some powerful emotions for me, without the attendant support of a therapist or counselor. How do you recommend listeners in that situation deal with those ideas and emotions when they arise?
Karen: That depends so much on the individual. Some people will want to work
concurrently with a therapist or counselor. And some will want to speak with me
about the experience and to work through a session or sessions together. And
for many, time to integrate their new understanding; an attitude of kindness
toward themselves, journaling, talking and/or creating will be most helpful.
It is also very common for people to enjoy a real feeling of lightness and
peace afterward, as they have finally had an opportunity to set down and
release emotion they have carried for a long-time. But of course I would
encourage anyone to seek whatever support feels best to him or her.
Nancy: Knowing what you know about herpes as an emotion-driven disease, are there any other underlying issues you recommend that Christopher’s patients use
hypnotherapy to address? How can you help them with that?
Karen: I would encourage them to contact a hypnotherapist if they have a sense that there are underlying issues that need exploring in the company of someone who has guided and helped others. Take the time to choose someone who you feel will be both skilled and compassionate. My website is www.nanaimohypnosis.com.
Nancy: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Karen, and especially for your work on creating the programme. I know it’s been a great help to me, and now I know a little bit more about how and why.
A Recipe for Herpes Health
Being healthy and outbreak-free need not mean deprivation. In each edition of this newsletter I will be sharing recipes for a deliciously holistic herpes diet. Have you got a particularly good healthy recipe? Send it to us, and we will publish it!
Curried Chicken with Bok Choy or Cabbage
Choose local organic ingredients as much as possible.
2 cups of Bok Choy or cabbage chopped
2 medium sized chicken breasts (chopped)
2 tbsp of olive oil
3-5 garlic cloves chopped
2 tsp of ground Tumeric
2tsp of ground Cumin
2 small cans of crushed tomatoes (or one large can)
1/2 onion chopped
1-2 tsp of curry powder or paste
1/3 cup of chicken stock
1/3 cup of plain organic yogurt
Heat the oil in a fry pan and sauté onions and garlic until soft, then add the chicken. Cook until golden, turn down the heat and add the spices. Stirring occasionally, let it cook together for another 5 minutes. Then add the greens and cover. Let it cook until the greens have softened. Add the chicken stock and yogurt and heat till warm, but not boiling. Let it all simmer together for another 5 minutes and then serve.
From The Holistic Herpes Cook Book by Cassa Wood
Why Go Organic?
Some of you might have heard about the importance of organics, free range, and buying local when purchasing food, and clients often ask me “What’s the big deal with Organics and why should I pay the higher price for it?”
MY reasoning is, if you have a choice between foods covered in pesticides and foods that are not, which would YOU choose? If you have a choice between foods that damage the water, earth and creatures on the earth and foods that don’t, which would YOU choose? It isn’t easy making that decision day in and day out, but making the world a better place for everyone sometimes costs a little more time, money and effort. This might explain why our planet is in such a state.
Emotional Freedom Now!
By Kannara Daniel
EFT Practitioner, Medical Intuitive, Channel and Clairvoyant
There are very few techniques that can be learned in a few minutes that will help you relieve the fear, anxiety, stress and many other issues that can cause your herpes virus to awaken. Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is based on acupuncture and psychotherapy, and increases energy flow in the body while neutralizing negative emotions. It has proven successful in thousands of clinical cases and applies to just about any emotional, health or performance issue you can name, and it often works where nothing else will. I’ve used it to prevent herpes outbreaks and to accelerate the healing process.
For those who suffer with recurring herpes, the worry of having another outbreak can bring up feelings of absolute powerlessness and anxiety, which can in turn allow the virus to re-assert itself. Stressing over the stress goes round and round until an outbreak occurs – its a truly vicious cycle. Yoga or meditation and visualization can help slow down the mind and relax the body, but it’s hard to keep it up all day long.
EFT can be done anywhere, at anytime. It involves tapping gently on pressure points around the body (see below) to increase energy flow along traditional energy meridians, and once you learn the technique, you can even just visualize the tapping routine to get your energy re-balanced. Often it will take only two minutes of tapping to alleviate the impending stress of recurring outbreaks, thus reducing occurrences. When you use it as an everyday tool you assist your body to remain in a state of balance!
Follow the basic instructions below and feel the energy of each tap while you focus on the issue you want to address.
First rate your worry on a scale from 0 – 10.
Then begin by tapping on the top of the head (TH) and say what you are feeling: i.e.: this worry, or this stress, or this pain…etc.
Then tap about 7 times at each point below with your two first fingers. You might have to repeat it a few times, but you will begin to feel your energy flow as you use this process regularly.
TH = Top of Head
EB = Beginning of the Eye Brow (inside)
SE = Side of the Eye (outside)
UE = Under the Eye
UN = Under the Nose
CH = Chin
CB = Beginning of the Collar Bone (side of throat)
UA = Under the Arm (6 ” beneath arm pit)
WR = Inside of Wrists
Repeat the exercise until the number on the scale has come down to at least 2 or less. Repeat the exercise as needed.
Christopher Scipio’s Natural Herpes Treatment Protocol
Christopher Scipio is the most experienced practitioner in the natural treatment of herpes and HPV.